Campus News

At Markey, Music Is a Powerful Tool in Cancer Treatment

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) – Singing, laughing and smiling are not words that most people would associate with a cancer treatment, but for Lexington resident Bahar Aleem, it's a common experience.


Aleem was diagnosed with breast cancer after her doctor found a small cancerous lump in her breast during an annual mammogram. After having surgery to remove the tumor, she was required to come to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center weekly for chemotherapy. That's when she discovered the healing power of music therapy.


Music therapy is a specific type of complementary therapy where a board-certified music therapist provides patient-preferred music before, during, or after treatments to help a patient relax and explore new ways of thinking about their experiences. Studies indicate that music therapy can help reduce patient anxiety, lower pain perception and even reduce the amount of sedative intake needed before a procedure.


Music therapy is always conducted with the purpose of achieving therapeutic outcomes. Because there's not one specific type of music that functions the same for everyone, music is chosen carefully in order to find songs that will have the best therapeutic effect for each individual patient and/or family. 


UK HealthCare has offered music therapy in many inpatient areas of the hospital since 2010. Last year, Music Therapist Jennifer Peyton was hired to treat patients at Markey, and the cancer center is able to offer this service to both its inpatients and chemotherapy outpatients.


During cancer treatments, Peyton will visit a patient's room, armed with her guitar, shakers and other musical instruments. She sings and plays for the patients and encourages them to participate with her, hoping that the music will allow them to express their emotions in a new, comfortable way.


Peyton is quick to point out that the therapy aspect of what she does is the most important part.


"We use patient-preferred music to elicit change in spiritual, cognitive, physical, and emotional domains," said Peyton. "This is not entertainment. While it can be entertaining, music therapy is not entertainment. It's therapy that uses music as a vehicle to do it."



Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.


Peyton sees Aleem regularly, and the song of choice for Aleem is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."


"I think it takes you away from your current situation and just makes you feel normal for a little while," said Aleem. "You don't think about or worry about anything. It just takes you away and makes you feel happy."


After singing, Peyton asks Aleem a round of questions, including "What does this song do for you?" or "Where is 'over the rainbow' for you?" These are opportunities for Aleem to explore any emotions the song might have evoked.


"It's amazing how people can identify with lyrics of a song much more readily than they can express them themselves," said Peyton.


Once the music starts, Aleem's eyes light up and she begins to smile from ear to ear. Peyton plays her guitar and sings while Aleem happily sways back and forth, taps her feet, claps her hands and sings along.  Even Aleem's husband joins in by playing small maracas. Because of music therapy, Aleem now looks forward to getting her treatments.


"Even though having someone sing and play to you isn't a typical event, it can help someone feel special and it normalizes things and make things not so scary and not so anxious and not so stressful," said Peyton.


Overall, Peyton says the response from patients receiving music therapy has been very positive. She looks forward to growing the program at Markey and serving even more patients from all across the state.


After experiencing its positive effects, Aleem hopes the program expands as well.


"It just kind of uplifts you and makes you feel better no matter how you feel," said Aleem. "So hopefully we will be seeing more of it."


For more information on the music therapy program at Markey Cancer Center, contact Jennifer Peyton at


MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tourney to Impact Some North Campus Parking

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 16:38

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 17, 2015) — For the second consecutive year, the University of Kentucky has been selected to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships in Memorial Coliseum; games will be held at noon and 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 22.


According to UK Parking and Transportation Services North Campus parking will be impacted beginning Wednesday, March 18, due to lot closures associated with tournament operations. However, since this event occurs during the university’s Spring Break, this will limit the impact to the broader campus community. Regardless, employees who typically park on North Campus should plan accordingly and allow extra time in arriving to work.


The College View Lot, adjacent to Wildcat Coal Lodge, will be reserved for tournament operations parking only from Wednesday, March 18, through Sunday, March 22; the lot has 75 spaces. Additionally, 20 spaces in the Coliseum Lot, located behind the Joe Craft Center, will be unavailable from Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, March 22, to accommodate satellite trucks for media outlets covering the tournament games.


The Linden Walk Lot will also be unavailable to general parking Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22, for tournament operations. The lot consists of 63 spaces.


Additionally, employees who park in the South Limestone Garage (PS #5) should expect an increase in visitors parking in the facility Friday, March 20, and plan accordingly.


Members of the UK community with valid E permits who normally park their vehicles in the areas listed above may park in other E lots on campus. Go to to view a campus parking map.

UK Dental Students Offer Reduced-Fee Dental Screenings

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 14:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2015) – Individuals looking for a low-cost dental screening option can visit the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry on March 26 or April 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.


UK College of Dentistry students will be providing dental screenings for $5 at the College of Dentistry on these dates for individuals age 14 and older. No appointment is necessary. Screenings will include limited x-rays and review for tooth decay.


In order to qualify for a $5 screening, participants must be available to also attend the dental students’ licensing exam on either Friday, April 17 or Saturday, April 18. Dental patients who are then selected will come back on either April 17 or 18 and will receive their dental services that day at no charge.


For more information, please visit Please call (859) 323-5994 or (859) 323-5958 with any questions.


Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or


Impacted by UK Mentor, Education Alum's Work Now Impacts High School Students Worldwide

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 14:27

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2015) — A seemingly insignificant moment can launch a chain of events that shape a lifetime. Some call it the butterfly effect. Perhaps you begrudgingly put down a good book to go out with a friend, and end up meeting the person with whom you start a family.


The twists and turns of life are often shaped by mentors. University of Kentucky College of Education alumnus Brandon Abdon (’03) had one of those moments when he met Les Burns, English education program faculty chair and an associate professor of literacy in the college’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


At the time, Abdon was in postgraduate classes at UK and Burns was taking over the English education program. The two easily connected and a mentoring relationship began. It was Burns who told Abdon about the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he earned one of his master’s degrees and developed contacts that have mentored, challenged and supported him since.


“If not for various mentors, I never would have taken the chances and been given the opportunities I have been given in my life and career,” Abdon said. “Sometimes they pull you aside and sometimes you have to seek them out — in either instance mentors are available and give freely of themselves.”  


Abdon recently became director of AP English Curriculum and Content Development for the College Board, where he will help design and manage two of the largest AP courses: AP English Language and AP Literature. This means his work will indirectly affect more than 1 million students in 10,000-plus high schools around the world annually.


He relocated to Atlanta from Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where he taught English at Highlands High School, to take the position. He spent evenings and summers in Lexington during the past several years, giving back to his alma mater by instructing UK courses designed for future English teachers.


Abdon is a 1997 graduate of Greenup County High School and began his college studies as an undergraduate at UK in English education with a minor in classical languages and literature. He also has a master’s in education from UK and has since earned a master’s in English from the Bread Loaf School and a specialist degree in education from Northern Kentucky University.


Abdon said the best aspect of his studies at UK was “being immersed in the context of a (high) school the entire time so that we were constantly reminded of our audience and how the different research and projects we did would fit within the larger program of a school. It made me immediately feel I was part of something bigger.”


He will take these experiences to the College Board, where he is responsible for collaborating with colleges and high schools to create, revise and implement English curriculum that meets college standards while fitting in the high school calendar.


“I would not be here at all were it not for my mentors,” Abdon said. “Especially considering Les Burns, who was the first phone call I made when I got the notice I was being considered for the position. Dr. Burns advises and mentors well beyond his current students.


"He is committed to the growth of those around him and the field of English education in general. Anyone who seeks out his advice or perspective regarding career, educational opportunities, programs at UK, and so on will find him ready and eager, not just willing, to help. He has questioned and challenged me when needed and taught me to understand myself better and be ready and able to explain and justify my reasoning," Abdon said.  

UK Vocalist Advances to Finals of Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 13:32

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. is one of nine vocalists who has advanced to the finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing against 17 semifinalists March 15 at the Metropolitan Opera. He will vie to win the competition performing with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi, this weekend in the grand finals concert 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22.



"A Woman is a Sometime Thing" performed by Reginald Smith Jr. in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Porgy and Bess." Video courtesy of Smith. A transcript for this video can be found here.


Smith, a baritone, advanced to the semifinals out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UK Opera Theatre as an Alltech Vocal Scholar. He studied under Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.


Among Smith's competitors in the semifinals was bass and UK student Matthew Turner, who took first place at the regional in Lexington and also studies with McCorvey, as well as Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice.


The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.


The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.


The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

Museum Explores Art From Horses to Tattoos

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 12:54

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2015) — The Art Museum at University of Kentucky is currently presenting four simultaneous exhibitions, offering a range of historical and contemporary works including photography, painting, sculpture and video. These free public exhibitions, on display through April 12, feature acclaimed artists known for their capacity to combine provocative ideas and exquisite craft.


'Same Difference'


Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.  Photos used in this video courtesy of UK Special Collections. 

Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh and Russell Maltz are dedicated studio practitioners who each use strategies of theme and variation, often finalizing their works at the gallery or museum, where component parts are experimentally stacked, clustered and dispersed. Their installations in "Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh, Russell Maltz" highlight a commitment to process as well as product, and in this exhibition the artists take advantage of the Art Museum at UK’s own architecture, especially the wooden floors and soaring ceiling height.


Grabner’s abstract paintings are grounded in the real world, often taking their cues from handmade or store-bought blankets, tablecloths and quilts. Her recent paintings accumulate lines and shapes that are the result of pushing glossy enamel paint through crocheted baby blankets. Textured and illusionistic, these canvases have a homey elegance and complex spatial depth.


Leigh’s sculptural works are known for their intense physicality, and she is adept at forming and firing ceramics that range from the ornamental to the ominous. At UK, she creates a gravel garden with “cowrie shell” sculptures that feature stunningly glazed surfaces with jagged openings, and a video clip from the 1960s-1970s television show "Julia," featuring Diahann Carroll as a nurse. In combination, her installation offers a meditation on identity, labor and beauty.


Maltz uses a range of industrial materials as his palette, creating singular and multi-part works that alert audiences to the nature of creating — making choices about content, context, color, scale, density, gravity and sequence. His recent paintings feature plywood sections that are covered in Day-Glo paint and overlaid on top of each other, then suspended from steel posts on the wall; referencing Kazimir Malevich’s infamous 1915 "Black Square" and continuing the evolution of the monochrome into the 21st century. Maltz consistently examines states of entropy, assembly and permanence. "Same Difference" is meant to highlight the aspects of consistency and mutability that each artist is known for, as well as making connections between their distinct productions.



May Series Photographer's Work Examines Human Rights in Middle East



Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.  Photos used in this video courtesy of UK Special Collections. 

Tanya Habjouqa’s photographs focus on gender, social, and human rights issues in the Middle East. She approaches her subjects with sensitivity and humor, striving to capture nuances rarely seen in press coverage. Her images invite the viewer to more deeply consider the humanist situations she documents, including women practicing yoga in a Biblical landscape, and young men somersaulting in the air outside of a refugee camp in Gaza.


In her series, "Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots," Habjouqa photographed women who live in exile in Jordan, struggling to feed their children while coping with loneliness and grief. In 2014, she won a World Press Award for her series "Occupied Pleasures," in which she pictures many of the ludicrous moments of everyday life that the 47-year occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem has created. Habjouqa is a founding member of Rawiya, a collective of female photographers from across the Middle East.


The photographer's exhibition at UK, "Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs," is presented in conjunction with Habjouqa's lecture presented as part of the Robert C. May Photography Lecture Series. The May Lecture series explores photography's roots in the 19th century and its reinvention in the digital world. This series is made possible through the Robert C. May Photography Endowment, a museum fund established in 1994 for the support of acquisitions and programs relating to photography.



Tattoo Who?


Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.  Photos used in this video courtesy of UK Special Collections. 

Installed on a new “project wall” at the Art Museum at UK is a combination of photographs, wall graphics and video, documenting the collaborative projects by noted local artists Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde. Included are images from the "Lexington Tattoo Project" developed with Lexington poet and UK doctoral candidate Bianca Spriggs, whose poem "The ____of the Universe: A Love Story" inspired numerous residents to have their bodies tattooed with suggestive fragments of text, punctuation marks and small design elements.


Also on view, are elements from Gohde and Todorova's current tattoo-endeavor, "Love Letter to the World," a global celebration of pride and place, prompted by a poem by Kentucky poet Laureate and UK English Professor Frank X Walker. Their installation posits the museum as a gathering site for those interested in how flesh, love and ideas can come together in thoughtful inclusive ways.



Edward Troye on the Horse, Of Course



Video Produced by UK Public Relations & Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.  Photos used in this video courtesy of UK Special Collections. 

The restrictions of an art form can sometimes provide the most interesting variations. "Edward Troye: Theme & Variation," a series of lithographs reproducing Edward Troye’s celebrated 19th-century paintings of famous American Thoroughbreds is a case in point. The pose of the horses — intended to showcase desirable traits — doesn’t waver, establishing a visual rhythm of the equine bodies in the middle of each composition.


Troye's works have been selected from the Art Museum at UK's permanent collection, and offer memorable equine portraits with distinctive profiles yet subtle differences in proportion, musculature, color and personality. Of course, the lithographs, already a step away from Troye’s paintings, are themselves multiple interpretations of distinct originals.


The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

"Made in Kentucky" Documentary Examines Kentucky's Energy Challenges, Solutions

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 16:07



Video Produced by the UK Vis Center.  To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click the "thought bubble" icon in the same area.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 17, 2015) — "Why did the automotive industry come to Kentucky? Good question, and the answer starts with energy," says KET's Bill Goodman, narrator of a new full-length documentary released March 6, and produced by the University of Kentucky Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments (Vis Center) and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (Kentucky EEC).


"Made in Kentucky," a one hour documentary, discusses the issues Kentucky faces — growing concerns about climate change and the demand for coal replaced by the demand for natural gas — and explores some of the solutions that might lead to a stronger Kentucky economy while still protecting the environment.


A collaborative effort, the Kentucky EEC was actively involved in providing data for the visualizations and connected the Vis Center to individuals representing the different viewpoints presented in "Made in Kentucky." Among those interviewed are Bill Bissett of the Kentucky Coal Association, Tom FitzGerald of the Kentucky Resources Council, Justin Maxson of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, and others representing the various energy and manufacturing industries in the state.


The documentary proposes that a major factor in Kentucky's low energy rates has been its "historic abundance of cheap coal," but that demand for coal is falling and the future of those energy rates and Kentucky’s economy is uncertain.


Dave Adkisson, president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, suggests that Kentucky isn't alone and that new technologies have altered the energy landscape across the United States. As Rebecca Taylor, senior vice president of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, points out in the video, fracking is increasingly becoming the lower cost alternative to coal.


"The rise of fracking in the United States has really dramatically increased the availability of the pool of natural gas, which drives prices down," Taylor said.


The documentary also examines other factors in Kentucky's changing energy industry, and both sides of the coal and clean energy spectrum, advising viewers, "no matter how you interpret the history, the law and data, our energy future requires bold, yet common sense thinking to promote the prosperity and well-being of all Kentuckians."


"How do we grow new jobs and new economic opportunities, particularly in East Kentucky, but all over the state? And the reality is there's no one silver bullet…the answer is going to be much more about smart, silver BBs — a range of strategies that we have to invest in to build the sort of economy we want," said Maxson, executive director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.


The range of strategies featured in the documentary includes reducing energy use with more efficient systems and diversifying Kentucky's energy portfolio with natural gas, renewables and nuclear power, without eliminating coal.


View the video above or at




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396,

UK Board of Trustees Approve Next Phase of Fit-Out in Patient Care Facility and Good Sam Emergency Department Renovation

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 14:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2015) -- The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Monday approved a plan for the next phase of the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital's Pavilion A that includes completion of another 64-bed patient floor and more operating rooms.


Upon completion of this phase, six of the eight clinical floors will be occupied and the tower will be 81 percent complete.


The plan for this phase calls for $75 million to be financed with agency funds to fit-out the 11th floor of the Pavilion A patient care facility. Additionally, radiology services will be relocated and expanded in Pavilion A, the hospital's blood bank will relocate, and six more operating rooms will be fit-out including an additional hybrid OR. In 2012, UK HealthCare opened one of the country's largest hybrid operating rooms and eight state-of-the-art operating rooms in Pavilion A.


Additionally, the Board approved for construction to begin as part of a plan to renovate and upgrade UK Good Samaritan's Emergency Department (ED). Approximately 12,090 square feet of the ED will be renovated in phases during the next two to three years. Improvements include space dedicated to patient care such as private patient rooms, expanded service capabilities and improved staff support space. The project also will expand the patient and family waiting area by approximately 1,250 square feet.


Since opening the first two patient care floors in Pavilion A in May 2011, UK HealthCare has experienced an increase in volume of patients that has placed substantial capacity constraints on hospital system operations, requiring the fit-out of Pavilion A to ensure availability of adequate facilities for patient care.


"Our rapid growth -- going from 25th to 75th percentile among academic medical centers -- has led to us playing 'catch up' for the past decade to meet current patient demands for our services that include care for the most critically ill patients who need complex and advanced subspecialty care," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "UK HealthCare is the only provider in the Commonwealth, and in this region, for some of these very high-level services and our ability to care for these patients is very important for the people we serve and their families."


The eighth floor of Pavilion A -- a state-of-the-art 64 bed cardiovascular patient unit -- opened in December 2014 and construction to fit-out the ninth and 10th floors of the patient care facility is underway. In addition to those two patient floors, the Board in June 2014 also approved replacement of the hospital kitchen and cafeteria, relocation of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Pavilion A and relocation of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).




Media Contact:  Kristi Lopez,


UK Staff Senate Holding Listening Sessions

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 09:24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Staff Senate will hold listening sessions for UK staff Tuesday, March 17, and Friday, March 27. The purpose is to give UK employees an opportunity to talk about the staff’s role in shared governance and how the Staff Senate can better represent its constituents.


“We would like to hear the ideas our colleagues across campus have about how to move UK forward,” said Senate Chair Mike Adams. “Too, it is important that our staff understand that they have a voice and are represented in big decisions that affect all of us.”


Staff members are encouraged to drop in, even if only for a few minutes, share their ideas and discuss issues of importance to them and the university.


“Whether you have voted in Senate elections or not, we are the official representatives of UK staff, and we can do a much better job if our constituents let us know what is important to them,” Adams said. “Please stop by and visit with us. The more people we hear from, the more informed we will be as a representative body.”


In addition to representing UK staff, the senate performs a wide variety of service to the university, from administration of the CRISIS financial assistance program to service on university-wide committees that make decisions about benefits, administrative policy, and long range planning.


“The staff entrusts us to make informed decisions on their behalf,” Adams said. “And we will be much more effective in the decision making process with input from our colleagues.”


The two sessions will be from 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, in Room 359 of the Student Center, and from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, March 27, in Room 249 of the Student Center. Refreshments will be served.


For more information, contact Holly Clark, Staff Senate coordinator, at 257-9242 or




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396,

Tuition Rate of Increase at Lowest in More Than Decade

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 08:26

LEXINGTON Ky. (March 16, 2015) — Emphasizing a commitment to affordable education, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees Monday approved a tuition and mandatory fee proposal that would bring the four-year average rate of increase for resident students to its lowest levels in nearly a decade.


The increase for resident undergraduates in Fall 2015 will be 3 percent, or $158 per semester, bringing Kentucky first-year tuition to $10,780.


That tuition level will bring the average rate of increase for the last four years to 4.25 percent — well below the more than 10 percent rolling average annual increases of 2005 to 2008.


"We have made a strategic and thoughtful effort to slow the rate of increases in tuition for our students. At the same time, through efficiency and hard work, we've sought to more competitively pay our faculty and staff while also finding innovative paths and partnerships for rebuilding and transforming our campus," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "Our eyes have always been firmly fixed on the needs of our students and their families. We have increased each and every year by millions of dollars our commitment to financial aid that does not have to be repaid by students and their families.


Today, we are taking another step forward in our commitment to ensuring an incomparable educational experience in a community like no other — one of the country's thriving residential, public research campuses."


"At the University of Kentucky, we are committed to putting students first in everything that we do," said Keith Gannon, chair of the UK Board of Trustees. "That commitment is evidenced in the steps we have taken to invest more in student aid and to continue to lower the rate of increase for tuition, all while investing more in facilities and technology that support students and their learning needs."


UK is in the process of self-financing some $1.5 billion in construction across the campus, much of it through public-private partnerships designed to build high-quality facilities for students at the most affordable prices possible.


In the budget that will be proposed to the board in June, the institution will invest $101 million in university funded student financial aid — an increase of about $15 million, or 17 percent. If adopted, since 2008, UK will have more than doubled the budget for student financial aid including adding more than $25 million since 2014 alone.


With the increases in financial aid, in Fall 2014, 85 percent of full-time resident students received aid that did not have to be repaid. On average, these students had to pay $1,278 out-of-pocket for tuition in the Fall 2014 semester — an increase of a little more than $400 since 2010.


Moreover, 53 percent of the Fall 2007 cohort of entering students that graduated within six years had no student loans; 47 percent had debt. Of those graduates with debt, the average total amount of student loans was $26,976.


Even as institutional aid has risen and debt remained relatively constant, state appropriations as a percent of public funds for university operations have declined to 43 percent in 2015 from 63 percent in 2008.


In raw numbers, recurring state appropriations have been cut $55 million.


"We are extremely sensitive to the cost of education for our students and their families," Capilouto said. "Even as tuition has risen to ensure that we can pay for the education we provide, we have increased institutional aid and taken other measures to keep this high-quality education affordable to Kentuckians."


Other key components of the Board of Trustees action include:


  • Non-resident students will see tuition rates increase by 6 percent. Non-resident tuition rates are required by the state to be at least two times the resident tuition rates.
  • Resident and non-resident graduate students will receive 3 percent and 6 percent increases, respectively.
  • The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education is expected to vote on UK’s proposal in April.


The board also reviewed housing and dining rates for 2015-2016:



  • Like tuition, most housing rates will increase by 3 percent.
  • Dining rates will increase by 3.5 percent for the minimum seven meals per week plan. The seven-day unlimited plan will increase by 2.4 percent and there will be no change in the rate for the 10 meals per week plan.
  • All other dining plans will increase 3.2 to 3.6 percent.
  • The housing and dining rates are per agreements with public-private partners, partnerships that Capilouto noted are helping ensure only modest increases while expanding offerings and service to students.


"These innovative public-private partnerships have enabled UK to move quickly to build technology rich living and learning spaces while also expanding the quality of the food service we provide to students," Capilouto said. "We could not have accelerated and expanded this level of service without these partnerships."


Almost 4,600 new high-tech beds in 10 residence halls and learning communities will have been built between fall 2013 and fall 2015.


UK had its largest first-year class in history in Fall 2014, with 5,185 students. Enrollment also exceeded 30,000 students for the first time. Subscription rates for new housing assignments were well over 100 percent.


Moreover, in 2014, UK inked a 15-year, nearly $250 million partnership with Aramark to create UK Dining. As a result of the partnership, prices for UK's six current student meal plans last year were significantly reduced, with the most expensive plan falling in price by 26 percent or about $740 per semester.


Even as prices were being reduced, significant investments and upgrades to dining facilities were being made by Aramark as part of its partnership agreement.

Nearly $70 million in facilities investments, including $40 million in new facilities have been -- or are being -- made.


Already constructed are the new K-Lair at Haggin Hall, Einstein Bagels at Chemistry Physics, Rising Roll at Ralph G. Anderson Hall, and Common Grounds at Champions Court I as well as upgrades to the Student Center Food Court.  A newly constructed facility — The 90 — will be ready for Fall 2015 and will feature Kentucky Proud products and sustainable design elements.


"We aren't building for ourselves. We are building for our future. And that future is our students — the young men and women of this Commonwealth who are being educated at the University of Kentucky," Capilouto said. "Everything we do is designed to put their success first. What we build, how we finance it, and the efforts we take to make that outstanding educational experience affordable — all of it is designed with our students in mind."

Spring Break Parking and Transit Changes

Sun, 03/15/2015 - 22:37

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2015) — During Spring Break, demand for student parking and transportation is greatly reduced. As a result, Parking and Transportation Services does not control many of the student areas for permits during this period and reduces campus bus service.


In general, all residential lots — with the exception of R17 (Wildcat Coal Lodge) — are not controlled for permits beginning Saturday, March 14. All employee lots will remain on control, including the joint use Employee/Commuter lots. The lots not controlled for permits will still be monitored for other parking violations to include, but not limited to, parking in fire lanes, on yellow lines, and for unauthorized parking in disabled accessible areas. All lots will resume normal control Monday, March 23.


The UK HealthCare Route and the Kentucky Clinic Route will continue to run their normal bus schedule. One CATS bus will operate on a modified version of the Break Route from 7 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The route will be modified due to the scheduled Woodland Avenue closure. All other CATS and Lextran campus bus service will cease during Spring Break.


The On-Demand Night Service will run Sunday, March 22, with service beginning at 7 p.m. All other campus bus service will return to normal operations on Monday, March 23.

For more information, visit

UK to Host Kentucky Ad Astra Summit

Sun, 03/15/2015 - 22:16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2015) — The University of Kentucky has been selected as the host of the 2015 Kentucky Ad Astra Summit sponsored by Ad Astra Information Systems. This event will be held in the Hilary J. Boone Center April 21 and 22, 2015. 


Ad Astra Information Systems is a software company that specializes in scheduling for higher education institutions. The goal of Ad Astra is to provide universities and colleges with a higher quality of scheduling strategies that better fit the needs of students. Over 800 campuses rely on their partnerships with Ad Astra to aid with scheduling, event management, academic resource allocation and more.


The University of Kentucky Registrar's Office uses Ad Astra's scheduling software to schedule all academic related events in all of the centrally located classrooms on campus. While creating the class schedule for a semester, this program is also used to assign classrooms to class sections. On average, the Registrar's Office uses Ad Astra to assign between 6,000 to 6,500 class-room assignments for the fall and spring semesters.


This year’s summit will be the fifth Kentucky Ad Astra Summit, and the first time that it’s been hosted by  the University of Kentucky. The summit will consist of 13 informational sessions that cover a variety of topics catered to beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The summit will also leave time for participants to network and learn from each other.


"We're excited because we've already received a variety of different topics to be discussed and presented at the summit, and we've also planned for roundtable discussions that will cover different Ad Astra topics" said David Timoney, associate registrar for communications. "In addition, we're going to have some open lab time for attendees to bring their laptops and work on issues with other attendees and Ad Astra representatives.”


The event is open to anyone interested in learning more about Ad Astra Information Systems and how it is used. In addition to UK staff, representatives from several institutions in Kentucky and surrounding states are expected to  take part. Ad Astra representatives will also be present to help answer any questions and help with presenting particular sessions.


"In my opinion, the 2015 Kentucky Ad Astra Summit will show that UK is a leader in innovation and efficiency when it comes to classroom scheduling," Timoney said.


Registration is open through April 8 and is $35 per person. For more information on how to register as well as session content and hotel accommodations, visit

UK HealthCare Establishes Office for Value and Innovation Healthcare Delivery

Sun, 03/15/2015 - 18:52

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 13, 2015) -- UK HealthCare has established the Office for Value and Innovation in Healthcare Delivery (OVIHD), aiming to provide value-based care across our health system. By re-engineering care delivery using expertise from industry, UK HealthCare will undergo a transformation of its delivery system to optimize care coordination for patients.
“As the health care delivery system continues to evolve, we must be ready to respond to market needs, without losing focus on patient safety and care across the health care continuum,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “The Office for Value and Innovation in Healthcare Delivery will include process improvement, patient safety, infection prevention and control. It is vital to our health care delivery now and in the future.”
OVIHD will provide the expertise to standardize delivery of evidence-based best practices. It will access the deep and broad resources of the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health, Nursing, Health Sciences, Dentistry, Business, Engineering and Communication and Information in collaboration with the Center for Health Services Research to build a learning health system and train health care professionals, analysts and leaders of the future.
Dr. Mark V. Williams, chief transformation &and learning officer (CTLO), for UK HealthCare and director of UK’s Center for Health Services Research; and Dr. Bernie Boulanger, chief medical officer for UK HealthCare, will be co-directors of the OVIHD. 

UK Dining Adjusts Operating Hours During Spring Break

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 23:26


Spring Break has arrived! Although many students will be leaving Lexington for the week, some are sticking around campus. To accommodate students, faculty and staff who will be on campus throughout the week, UK Dining has adjusted hours of operation at all campus dining locations. For more information and to view the altered hours visit

UK Honors Outstanding Advisors With Freedman Award

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 23:26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2015) — University of Kentucky's Denise Brazzell and Mike Farrell received the 20th annual Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor Awards at a luncheon held March 13.


Ken Freedman, the award's namesake, was one of the founders of the UK Advising Network in 1986 and served as a professional advisor at UK until his death in 2001. Each year, the Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor Award is presented by the UK Advising Network to one full-time professional advisor and one faculty advisor for outstanding service.


Brazzell was selected as the 2015 professional advisor winner and Farrell was selected as the faculty advisor winner from fields of 61 and 38 candidates, respectively. In addition to the award, each advisor is presented a $500 professional development voucher from the UK Division of Undergraduate Education to be used for attending a national or regional advising conference.


“We were so impressed with the number of nominations we received from all over campus. To read about the impact our advisors are having on the undergraduate experience at UK reaffirms that academic advising is integral to fulfilling the teaching and learning mission of higher education,” said Matthew Deffendall, chair of the Freedman Award selection committee and director of First Generation Initiatives.


Brazzell, director of student services at UK College of Engineering - Paducah Campus was described by one of her nominators as "the mother hen" of the campus who "knows her job, backwards and forwards," and by another as "going beyond the bounds of her job description."


Brazzell’s award was presented by David Silverstein, associate professor at UK College of Engineering.


“I am so humbled to be standing up here with such wonderful people,” said Brazzell. “I want to tell you first and foremost that I don’t do this by myself.” She credits her husband, son and family for helping her every step of the way.


Farrell is an assistant professor in UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications, and received his master's and doctoral degrees from that same program. Farrell was described by one nominator as "an incredible friend and advocate for students," and by another as "a holistic advisor [who] goes far beyond prospective advising, as he also mentors his students."


Farrell’s award was presented by Beth Barnes, director of UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications.


“I’m passionate about teaching,” said Farrell, “but most of all I’m passionate about my students. They are our future.”


Runners up for the professional award were Jennifer Ellis, Jason Horger and Amy Luchsinger. Runners up for the faculty award were Roberta Dwyer and Lorraine Garkovich.


As Freedman Award recipients, Brazzell and Farrell will be nominated by UK for the Region 3 Excellence in Advising Award and the National Academic Advising Association Outstanding Advising Award.


The UK Advising Network is part of the Office of Student Success in the Division of Undergraduate Education. For more information, contact Susan Herrick, chair of the UK Advising Network, at



MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

Five Benefits of Consulting with a PA for Primary Care

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 16:49

This column first appeared in the March 15 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader. 


By Virginia Valentin and Hannah Anderson


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2015) -- When finding a home base for health care, patients are no longer considering a single doctor in their community. In today's primary care setting, multiple professionals work together as a team. A diversity of professionals exist within the health care industry to accommodate the various needs of patients and ensure the health care process is fluid and functional.


An integral member of the modern health care team, physician assistants (PAs) are trained to work hands-on with patients, often serving as an extension of the primary care doctor by providing primary care services to patients. PAs are licensed medical professionals who can perform an array of services including clinical examinations, diagnostic services, test result interpretations, counseling on preventive care, advising a treatment plan and more. In a primary care setting, PAs often take on specific roles, including preventive medicine and acute crisis management.


The thought of consulting with someone besides a medical doctor causes trepidation for some traditional patients. Before insisting on an MD, consider these five benefits to seeing a PA as a primary care provider:


A PA's training mirrors that of the medical profession. Introduced as a career for medics returning from war in the 1960s, the PA profession was designed to complement the role of the physician. PA students receive nearly three years of medical training and complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in areas including family medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics and more.


PAs always have the ear of the doctor. As the doctor's right-hand men and women, PAs are closely tied to the doctor in primary care. Doctors trust PAs to carry out procedures, consultations and examinations on their own, but are available to the PA when complex medical questions arise.


PAs are trained to consider the whole patient, utilizing the skills of individual members of a team. PAs can help advise patients about lifestyle decisions and preventive care.


PAs take time to communicate with the patient.  While every health care professional is pressed for time, the PA's schedule often allows for more time to ask questions and discuss health care matters.


Approval ratings are high for the PA profession. Studies show patient satisfaction increases when a PA is available within the practice setting.


If you are interested in locating a PA as a primary care provider in Kentucky, visit To learn more about the PA profession, visit the American Academy of Physician Assistants.


Virgina Valentin, MCMS, PA-C, is an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences and immediate past president of the Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants. Hannah Anderson is a PA student developing a website resource for patients seeking out PAs in their Kentucky communities.